Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 8:51 PM
You are in the Ford Windstar
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Ford Windstar, Van
#243 of 2608 1998 Leased Windstar
Oct 30, 2000 (11:50 pm)
I come from a family of Ford owners. We've had Taurus's, Windstars, etc. My sister-in-law, cousin, and myself all have 1998 Windstars. Unfortunately, all of us have had problems with the vans, none of which Ford will own up to. My sister-in-law had to replace her transmission twice, my cousin has a knocking noise coming from his transmission, I've had to replace the brakes, and now I've just learned that my engine needs replacing. I am leasing my van and am sick at the fact that I'll have to put $4000 into this van that I will give back in 5 months (yes, I'm over the mileage so it's not covered under warranty anymore). My feelings are; who would get an extended warranty on a lease when supposedly you'll only have the car until the lease is up. Anyway, has anyone else had problems like these with the '98s? What about dealing with Ford's customer service? Do I have any backing when I insist that they replace the engine at no cost to me? Any info would he greatly appreciated.
Oct 31, 2000 (7:35 am)
How bad is your engine? Could you nurse it along for five months or even park it until the lease is over? If it is still driveable, sideline the van, rent something in the interim, and dump off on Ford later. If you have to replace the engine, don't go through Ford. Find a junkyard, replace the engine with one from another 98 WS, and hopefully no one will notice. Could save you 2,000 +. You could always try to fight Ford. Good luck, Wes.
#245 of 2608 95 Windstar Transmission AXOD
Nov 03, 2000 (5:56 pm)
I just unloaded my 95 Windstar after 2 1/2 very expensive years ownership. It was the worst vehicle I ever owned! Furthermore, corporate HQ's and the dealers are terrible- they tried to ignore the problems or disavow any responsibility for them. Anyway, among the problems I had was getting the transaxle overhauled to replace a cracked forward piston. Ford disavowed any responsibility for this too, although it has been a common problem since the tranaxle's debut in the taurus in 1985. Anyway, apparently Ford has still not fixed the problem, as a coworker just got a factory recall on her 1999 Windstar for transaxle replacement - Cracking forward pistons again. Ford did that repair at no cost to her. Has anybody heard of Ford finally reimbursing owners for repair of the AXOD transmissions in '95 Windstars? I am holding onto the receipt for this work, JUST IN CASE they do something like they finally did for the cracked head gasket debacle.
I guess at Ford, the motto IS NOT "Produce a good product and the profit will naturally follow". Instead, it's "Lets get the profit now and hope we aren't forced to fix our longstanding screwups". I have returned to GM and I hope to God that nobody in my large family ever buys another Ford. They are one lousy company!
#246 of 2608 More on the Windstar Speedometer
Nov 03, 2000 (6:16 pm)
The problem seems to be temperature sensitive, ie. when the temperature goes below 50 degrees, the speedometer does its crazy dance. It also appears to be electrical rather than mechanical in nature, I am wondering about a loose or dirty connection. Where should I look for loose connections? In addition, there seems to be a buzzing coming from under the dash near the fuse/relay box, when the speedometer malfunctions. Is there a specific circuit or relay that I can try and reseat?
#247 of 2608 99 Windstar Trans
Nov 03, 2000 (6:48 pm)
daveriedel3638: In your post #248 you mentioned a recall on the tranny in a 99 for a co-worker. Do you any more information on that? Does it apply to 2000 as well?
Nov 03, 2000 (7:51 pm)
If you didn't get a letter, then I don't think it applies to 2000s. I'm pretty sure its a voluntary recall on Ford's part, since it isn't listed at the NHTSAs website. We got the letter for our 99 SE. I can't recall exactly, but it seems the recall is to replace the "rear lube tube and stabilizing bar" or something like that.
Didn't have any problems beforehand, didn't take them long to work on it, and don't have any problems with it now. <shrug>
#249 of 2608 Replace Transaxle in 99 Windstar
Nov 03, 2000 (8:18 pm)
bdemas: Regarding that recall it was strictly on the '99 windstars and it involved them pulling out the old transaxle and installing a new one. Unfortunately, the new transaxle probably has the same bad design/parts that were in the original transaxle. Furthermore, in my short, but painful experience with Ford, these recalls are very specific in their application, eg: they identify the vehicles affected to their dealers by VIN and a recall probably will not be made for all Windstars for a model year. You should be concerned though because Ford has not shown any interest in improving product reliability. The problems I had with transmission, head gaskets, electrical, cooling system, brakes, etc, etc are the same problems they had in the Taurus's (which windstar got its drive train from) and that '96 - 98 windstar owners are now having. You may be lucky and have a good one that can be driven to 200K miles. But odds are against most Windstar owners and the sooner you can get rid of yours, the better your chances of getting an acceptable trade in for it. Good luck my friend.
Nov 04, 2000 (12:21 pm)
Dearie, Read all of the posts on Windstars. Bad transmissions are common. I just had the second one replaced in 6 months, fortunately under warranty. If you can hold off on mileage, do it and get rid of it. We can't get rid of ours; trade in value is well below what we owe on it and selling it privately has been unproductive.
#251 of 2608 my experience so far
Nov 06, 2000 (5:10 am)
I have a 99 SE 3.8 liter with most all the bells and whistles. I have the trailer towing package. At 33,000 miles I have had only one problem - the idle air valve failed. Power doors have been fine. Electrical fine. Occasional jerky downshift. Tires appear that they will go about 50000 miles. Front brakes are about 60% worn and back about 30%. It tows a 3000 lb Coleman trailer very well. We have towed about 7000 miles so far. 80 mph once, 8600 feet in altitude once and across the Mojave at 105 degrees. Temperature rock
steady. Towing we get 16 - 17 mpg. Normal driving about 20 mpg. Highway about 23 - 24 mpg. We did get 9 mpg once, driving at slow speed, up and down hills around Atlanta, house hunting. This engine has never pinged, and I burn the cheapest gas I can find. As a 15 year aircraft mechanic, I am impressed as to my engine's ability to use any fuel with no complaints. An aircraft engine with that high compression ratio would need 130 octane fuel. A note to readers of this list: most people who post here have been having problems. You generally don't hear from people who are happy. So far, I like my van very much. I hope the next 100,000 go as well for me!
P.S. The early 90's Honda I owned was no great work of art - it had a whole list of it's own problems. The Japanese are not the end all to beat all.
#252 of 2608 1998 Leased Windstar Update
Nov 06, 2000 (2:21 pm)
Thanks for your responses. For all interested, here is the latest. Unfortunately, at the time the engine went, we brought it to the Ford Service Department where we bought the van. They had to send it their "Engine" Dept which is off the premises. After a week of the car just sitting in the shop they finally looked at it. Originally they said that they didn't know why the engine blew. They saw fresh oil, old oil, metal and water in the engine. Right off the bat they were going to take half the responsibility and pay 50-50 on a new engine. My husband complained, saying that the van is not even 3 years old, that we shouldn't have to take any of the responsibility. Sure enough, they came back and told us that we neglected the van and that their 50-50 deal is "null and void". We found as many oil changes receipts as we could find but unfortunately not the latest ones. So now, 2 1/2 weeks later we still don't have the van back - it's still in the shop. Unfortunately, they have the van so they know about the engine problem - I can't put a rebuilt one in. I'm sick about this whole thing. If I give it back in March, I will have paid about $7000 for a car that I don't have anymore. I think I'm stuck with buying it. Does anyone know about buying a leased car? Is the residual value negotiable? This is the first and last leased car I ever own.